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election as pope. pope benedict hoped to retire then and spend more time writing. he is a highly regarded scholar in theology. the retirement age for bishops is 75 and he submitted his resignation three times. the only reason he stayed at his post is because of pope john paul ii. he said quote strength of mind and body are necessary. strength which in the past few months has deteriorated. that i've had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted me. the 85-year-old's last day of pope will be february 28th. and the last time a pope resigned was nearly 600 years ago in 1415 when pope gregory stepped down. pope benedict was born in 1927 as joseph in germany. he was forced into hitlers youth at age 14. he served in the army but desserted and eventually captured by the americans. his decision sets the stage for a new pope to be elected before the end of march. and coming up later this morning. we hope to get reaction from the that catholic community especially in the light of the fact that ash wednesday is coming up in two days. and of course it's the most spiritual
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